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Old 10-11-11, 08:57 PM   #1
fthomas 
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A Return to Mountain Biking! - Now for the basic skills on a 29'r

OK, let me set the stage. I'm an older guy who four years ago was bombing around on my mountainbike doing 12 to 20 miles on trails everyday. I had a major wreck that required surgery to my chest and abdomen to repair. I did pretty good and was adapt at moving my weight around the cockpit but wasn't that skilled doing manuals or more advanced moves.

I just purchased another bike, this time a 29'r and would like some advice on perfecting some of the skills that I lacked in the past: manuals, bunny hops, etc. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-11-11, 09:03 PM   #2
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I thought this video was pretty good. Dunno if it is what you're looking for.
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Old 10-11-11, 09:14 PM   #3
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What the heck did you do to yourself that you needed so much thoracic intervention?
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Old 10-11-11, 09:30 PM   #4
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What the heck did you do to yourself that you needed so much thoracic intervention?

Really quite simple! I was pedaling up a very steep grade just prior to reaching the top and made a very small shift in weight which blew my front wheel right over my head. I unclipped and the bike ended up about 15 feet below me with the handle bars stuck in the dirt sticking straight up. I ended up perfectly parallell to the ground and came down on the handle bar end just at the base of my sternum. I shattered my sternum and opened a 1 x 3 inch hole through my abodominal muscles. I was riding with a couple buddies and one was a Paramedic. I was shocked that even though I was in such pain that I could still breath.

Once I caught by breath and gave myself a little bit of time to regain my senses and think clearly I discovered that it hurt more than a little bit to walk. So, against the recommendations of my friend the Paramedic I elected to ride out the 4 1/2 miles out to the trail head where our trucks were parked. I made it in record time and in great form. Thankfully I have a very high pain tolerance.

The surgery consisted of removing all the sternum fragments and sewing up the gaping hole in the muscle wall. I was miffed that the Doc doing the surgery used polyester as a reinforcement material. He was a bike rider and I wanted to know why he couldn't have used something with a little less weight like carbon. He told me that if I hadn't been in such good shape I would have ruptured by liver or spleen and really stood a good chance of having a cardiac arrest.

My solution: "Don't do that again!" So now I wear a pressure suit when riding. I know it looks like overkill to most people, but they don't realize that there have been a number of deaths from impacts such as mine into trees, rocks, etc. Even at a pro level.

Call me crazy or just after a big adrenaline rush, but I'm back and determined to make the most of it.

Sorry for such a long response to such a straight forward question.
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Old 10-11-11, 09:33 PM   #5
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Sorry for such a long response to such a straight forward question.
Good response...glad to hear you're back in the saddle.
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Old 10-12-11, 09:50 AM   #6
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Good response...glad to hear you're back in the saddle.
+ 1 ^
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Old 10-12-11, 11:15 AM   #7
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Holy crap! How did you not bleed to death?

Anyway, I saw a video here with people wearing protective gear. Does anyone know common brands for that kind of protective gear and where to find it?
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Old 10-12-11, 11:57 AM   #8
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SixSixOne makes a lot of very good protective gear, including the Pressure Suit fthomas alluded to. There are many other brands but 661 gives very good value for the money spent.

http://www.sixsixone.com/sixsixone_bike.aspx

Holy crap, ft, that was a heckuva ordeal; glad you're OK now. BTW, if you want something a bit lighter/cooler for warm weather while retaining most of the protection of your Pressure Suit, you might want to look into the Prodigy hard-shell. I got one for aggressive trail-riding, Super-D racing and other such instances when I felt the PS was just too much. Chest/sternum/upper abdomen area is actually better-protected (IMO) than with the PS. I just wish the back came down the spine further.
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Old 10-12-11, 06:58 PM   #9
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Zippy, that is a great video. Thanks! Also Dminor, an interesting thought on something besides the Pressure Suit. I appreciate all the great input!

Thanks!
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Old 10-12-11, 08:42 PM   #10
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Inspiring story! And forget what people think about protecting yourself on the trail. It's easy to say "that'll never happen to me", until it happens to you And in any situation, I most respect the guy who wears protective gear when no one else does. I always feel embarrassed when I'm on my bike/motorcycle/skateboard & see someone wearing more gear than I am...I always feel like they're looking at me thinking "Geez, that guy is an idiot!"
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Old 10-12-11, 10:43 PM   #11
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Inspiring story! And forget what people think about protecting yourself on the trail. It's easy to say "that'll never happen to me", until it happens to you And in any situation, I most respect the guy who wears protective gear when no one else does. I always feel embarrassed when I'm on my bike/motorcycle/skateboard & see someone wearing more gear than I am...I always feel like they're looking at me thinking "Geez, that guy is an idiot!"
True! As an older guy I'm the unusual one on the trail just because of my age. Living in a place like S. California there are more than a fair share of guys on full carbon super bikes that haven't figured out that they are not invincible yet. I don't mind the stares, but get a kick out of some of them telling their buddies under their breath that: "That guy must be some kind of down hill rider!" If they only knew! LOL!
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Old 10-13-11, 05:56 AM   #12
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After my T7-12 fusion a few weeks ago, when I get back to my MTB, I intend to be wearing compression gear/armor. But that is a ways off, at least a year. Road bike goes on the indoor trainer till next spring so I can some miles in...

I had a front tire go flat in a downhill ride, roadbike on pavement, Must have been a turn because I hit the ditch. headfirst, destroyed the helmet, broke my neck at the base of the skull, pulverized the T9 vertebra, damaged the T7,8 and 10. Screws and rods T7-12, T9 couldn't even hold a screw. That was 7 weeks ago. I'm not in a big hurry to ride the streets or my MTB, but can still ride the trainer indoors... Not meaning to jack the thread...
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Old 10-13-11, 06:49 AM   #13
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And they say MTBing is dangerous
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Old 10-13-11, 02:02 PM   #14
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Thanks for sharing your experience. After my accident and reading about the number of bicyclist killed and injured on and off the road in Southern California I think it is important that we all understand the risks, know how to deal with a situation should it arise, BUT more importantly to always be prepared with the right protection gear and learn how to crash a bike either MTB or road bike. I know that may sound strange, but I've seen to many broken wrists from people trying to break the fall with their hands. We would be well served to practice unclipping, clearing the bike and rolling with the fall. Actually something that can be practiced.

I hope that you heal quickly and are back on the bike and road soon.
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Old 10-13-11, 10:58 PM   #15
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Like I said , not intended to jack the thread. I'll add, I'm 48, weighed 294 lbs the day of the crash and am 6'3". My crash was August 21st. Thanks, I'm healing well, lucky to have feeling and function everywhere. Therapist and friends are making sure I don't over do anything, and I went to work yesterday, but it was a bit much, took today off too.

I'd been away from cycling as well, but for many more years than the OP. After left knee replacement last November, I decided to get back on the bikes. My road bike was a more recent treat... I'd been riding my MTB relatively clamly, getting my bike handling skills back. Even at my weight, bunny hops aren't that hard. Basically, I wanted to have a good handle on my old bike before buying anything newer, like a 29'er.

I'm looking at some back protection, even for my roadbike riding. Sometime, next year when I roll on the streets again. Sure wish I could ride like I did 20 years ago...
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